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HRW warns new executions may occur in Bahrain in unfair trials

23 January 2017 15:43

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned that the Manama regime authorities may execute two more Bahrainis after “unfair” trials and based on confessions extracted under torture.

HRW said on Monday that the Manama regime may be about to enforce death sentences against activists Mohamed Ramadhan Issa and Hussain Ali Moosa.

Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the death sentences against the two in 2015, accusing them of killing a policeman in a bomb explosion in the village of al-Dair in February 2014.

HRW said that the recent execution of three other Bahraini activists in a similar case raised concerns that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah would approve the executions of Ramadhan and Moosa as well.

Bahrain carried out the executions of Shia activists Sami Mushaima, Abbas Jamil Tahir al-Sami’, and Ali Abdulshahid al-Singace on January 15. The Court of Cassation had similarly upheld the death penalties given to the three over allegations of killing an Emirati security forces in al-Daih in Bahrain in March 2014. Emirati forces have been deployed to Bahrain to help the regime crack down on political dissent.

The defendants had denied the charge.

The international rights group said the confessions of Ramadhan and Moosa, which had been extracted under torture and which both men had retracted, were used as evidence in a trial that violated international judicial standards.

“Bahrain should not under any circumstances execute two more young men, especially where there is credible evidence of confessions obtained through torture and unsound convictions,” said HRW’s deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork.

Stork also urged the UK, France, Germany, and the EU to “publicly condemn this unfair trial and oppose these sentences before Bahrain assembles its firing squad.”

Bahrain court adjourns trial of Nabeel Rajab

Also on Monday, a Bahraini court postponed until February 21 the trial of prominent human rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab.

A file photo of prominent Bahraini human rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab

Rajab was arrested in June 2016 over tweets he had posted in March 2015 criticizing the Manama regime for torturing prisoners at a local jail and for its involvement in the deadly Saudi aggression against Yemen.

According to state media, Rajab is accused of “spreading false news and rumors and inciting propaganda during wartime.” He categorically denies the charges.

Bahraini courts have repeatedly rejected requests to release the 52-year-old rights campaigner over health problems. The United Nations (UN) has called on Bahrain to “immediately and unconditionally” release Rajab.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US, has been experiencing a wave of anti-regime demonstrations since mid-February 2011. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or detained amid Manama’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority.

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